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How Cell Biologists Have Fun: The First Ever World Cell Race

Some like fast cars, fast horses, fast women...  Cell biologists get a kick out of fast cells - that is, cells that migrate very quickly.  Researchers even modify cells, usually for professional reasons, to make them migrate faster.  In recognition of the achievements, as well as the fun these biologists are having, the American and French societies for cell biology have decided to challenge members of the international cell-building community to a Cell Race - launching now!

 

Three cell lines on an exciting 100 µm race.: Image captured by Timothée Vignaud (CEA, Grenoble)Three cell lines on an exciting 100 µm race.: Image captured by Timothée Vignaud (CEA, Grenoble)

 

Cell labs throughout the world can freeze their fastest cell line and send them to one of the six closest participating Nikon Imaging Centers. (Nikon is one of several corporate sponsors of the Cell Race.)  There, the cells will be plated in 12-well glass-bottom micropatterned plates with tracks that are coated with fibronectin to attract the cells.  Two sizes of tracks will accommodate various cells sizes and migration strategies.

 

Actual running tracks: microscope field w/ 10x objective: image via worldcellrace.comActual running tracks: microscope field w/ 10x objective: image via worldcellrace.com


Regarded as a very cool event by cell biologists, the World Cell Race is not just for fun.  It is expected that substantial new information will be learned from the race regarding the mechanical properties of cell migration, even from those cells that have been modified for the expression of one or several genes. 

Cells must be received between June 1, 2011 and June 31, 2011.  The races will be held in July and August at each center and will be video-recorded for presentation at the American Society of Cell Biology annual meeting in December, 2011. 

The three fastest cell lines will each receive a Nikon camera, which they may or may not decide to give to their creators.

 

For more information, visit the World Cell Race and The American Society for Cell Biology. via RDMag